Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Love them Anyway

I had the opportunity this afternoon to listen to a man who has lived with dementia for ten years and spends his time traveling around telling his story and encouraging people who are dealing with dementia and alzheimer's, either those who have it, or those who care for people who have it. I want to share a little bit of what he said because while he was talking about living with dementia, he said something that is so profound I can't help but not share it.

He was talking about later in the process of dementia when your loved one may get to the point of not even knowing who you are when you come to see them. Or maybe they get depressed or stop talking as much as they used to and aren't as responsive as they used to be. Sometimes when these things start happening, family members may be tempted to start pulling away from their loved one. For many reasons, but he said something that I will not forget anytime soon. He said, "if your husband can't remember your name, does that make them any less loveable?" It shouldn't.

Love, he said, was about giving, not getting. If you woke up every morning to a husband who didn't know who you were and didn't say much to you, would you love them any less? Some people may answer yes, but if you married someone because they knew your name, you settled too fast! Loving someone isn't about what the other person can give you, it is about what you can give them.

This was a humbling statement for me. Even without dealing with dementia, life in general serves up these moments where someone may not be as loveable as they were at another time in life, but if we truly love them, that doesn't matter.

Love isn't about how loveable the person you love is, it is about how willing you are to put yourself aside and love them anyway.

God loved us enough to send His only Son to die for us so that we could spend the rest of our lives with Him. I know there are times in my life where I am certainly unlovable. But I am so thankful for the love of God. He loved us when we yet were sinners. God is in the business of loving the unlovable and turning them into lovable people. We need to accept the love God has shown us and take it a step further to be the hands and feet of Jesus and love those who are unlovable. Show love and kindness to those who don't seem to deserve it.

So many times we dismiss people because they do things to us that make it hard to love them. Love them anyway! Blessings will come for you and them in the process.

No comments:

Post a Comment